Think twice before changing products – Customer revolt against Twinings

Think twice before changing products – Customer revolt against Twinings

Customer revolt against Twinings

Customer revolt against Twinings

As social media grows more and more users are learning how it can be used to group together over a single cause and use “pester power” to fight against companies.

For nearly two centuries, Earl Grey has been the tea of genteel contentment. But as Twinings changed the flavour of the popular hot drink, its drinkers where rising in revolt against Twinings.

The company was so confident it would triumph by adding “a dash of lemon and a touch more bergamot” that its website proclaimed:

Even the Earl himself couldn’t have imagined how wonderful his favourite tea could taste. Do you think it’s our best ever?

But many customers didn’t – in fact they decided it wasn’t their cup of tea, and they weren’t happy.

Bring back the original Twinings Earl Grey tea

A Facebook page was launched, demanding: “Bring back the original Twinings Earl Grey tea.”

Think twice before changing products

As anger and desperation mounted, one lady, 30 years an Earl Grey drinker, even went so far as to suggest:

I’d rather drink PG Tips

Others:

New Earl Grey is an awful disappointment. Please change it back or I will change to a different make

Please bring back the original Earl Grey and call this new blend something else. Terrible idea to mess with it

Tea drinkers compared the affair to the 1985 “New Coke” debacle, when Coca-Cola changed the flavour for its flagship product, provoking public nationwide outrage in the US and a swift decision to reintroduce the old formula.

Twinings head bowed to consumer pressure and have reintroduced the original recipe:

Whilst many love the new Earl Grey, a group of Earl Grey fans have asked us to make the previous blend available. Not wishing to disappoint we have introduced Earl Grey The Classic Edition, which uses the identical blend of tea and bergamot of the previous blend

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a company try to change something in their product or services, only to be met with huge outrage online and be forced to change.

From a company point of view, this brings with it a new set of challenges, as evidently every single move you make – even an ingredient change is subject to scrutiny online and people are not afraid of speaking out. More importantly, they know how to speak out and get heard.

Listen to BBC 4 Radio: Earl Grey Revolt (07.51)

Short URL & title:
Think twice before changing products – Customer revolt against Twinings — https://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/zmx
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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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